Tag Archives: women’s basketball

Photo by Austin Lassell

Louisville women’s basketball advances to Elite Eight with win over LSU

By Sam Draut

Louisville cruised to a 73-47 victory over LSU on Sunday to advance to the Elite Eight.

Shoni Schimmel led Cardinal scorers with 19 points and added six assists.  Tia Gibbs hit five three pointers, finishing with 15 points and five rebounds.  The two seniors combined for eight of the Cardinals season-high 12 three-pointers.

“When Tia Gibbs gives you 15 points in 16 minutes off the bench it is pretty special,” Louisville coach Jeff Walz said.

The seventh-seeded Tigers were limited to playing just eight players due to injuries, while Louisville’s bench outscored LSU’s reserves 28-0.  In three NCAA tournament games, Louisville’s bench has outscored opponents 84-2.

‘‘They did all that they could consider, and our bench, they came in and they tried their best,’’ LSU coach Nikki Caldwell. ‘’I’m proud of them for that. We didn’t execute as well as we wanted to.”

Antonita Slaughter scored 10 points.  Asia Taylor pulled down 10 rebounds and added 7 points.

LSU (21-13) held a 12-11 lead through the first eight minutes of the game, but Louisville (33-4) closed the half on an extended 30-11 run, giving them a comfortable 41-23 halftime lead.

During the run, Gibbs connected with two threes on back-to-back possessions.

“I was trying to provide a spark to the team.  Coming off the bench, that is our job,” Gibbs said.  “My teammates did a great job looking for me.”

LSU was led by sophomore guard Danielle Ballard, who finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds.  She had 12 of the Tigers 24 field goals.  Minus Ballard, LSU was just 4 of 42 from the field.

“We had a hard time containing her, but I thought we did a good job on the rest of their players,” Walz said.

Taylor and Sara Hammond were able to slow the post presence of Theresa Plaisance, who scored seven points on 1-of-13 shooting, well below her season average of 15.3 points per game.

Hammond was limited to  16 minutes because of foul trouble, but had five points and eight rebounds.

“We have to get Sara going, we are running out of games,” Walz said. “She is in a little bit of a slump, but I would be shocked if she had three games where she struggled on the offensive end of the floor.”

Through three NCAA tournament games, the Cardinals have outscored their opponents by 46, 30, and 26 respectively.

‘’I think we’re playing really good basketball right now,’’ Walz said.

“We don’t play the score.  We won’t let up on people.  We know there is a lot we still have to work on,” Gibbs said.

Louisville will play fourth-seeded Maryland on Tuesday night at the KFC YUM! Center for a trip to the Final Four.

Walz spent five seasons at Maryland under the direction of Terrapin coach Brenda Frese  before coming to Louisville.

“We know we are going to have our hands full.  They are a very talented basketball team, they have great size,” Walz said. “We know what is at stake.”

Sweet 16 coverage, away and at home

Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams are headed into Sweet 16 action this weekend! The University of Louisville now stands alone as the only school to have both men’s and women’s basketball go to back-to-back Sweet 16′s. And once again, the Louisville Cardinal is your home for up to the minute coverage of all of the hoops action. We will have a coverage team at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis covering the men’s team, as well as a team at the Yum! Center covering the women. Check out louisvillecardinal.com for previews and coverage of all of the games, as well as ‘The Louisville Cardinal Inc.” on Facebook. Also follow us on Twitter ‘@theCardSports’ and ‘@TheCardinalNews’ with the hashtag ‘#CardinalBoom2014′ for live play-by-plays and extended coverage. The Louisville Cardinal looks forward to being your home for all things Cardinal Hoops.

Women advance with opening round win over Idaho

By Sam Draut

The University of Louisville Women’s basketball team opened up the first round of the NCAA tournament with a commanding 88-42 victory over Idaho.

Louisville, 31-4, was led by Sara Hammond, who was one of five Cardinals to score in double figures.  The junior forward finished with 16 points on 8 of 13 shooting.

Idaho, 25-9, played Louisville close through the first eight and a half minutes trailing 12-11, but Louisville responded with a 14-2 run, sparked by six points from senior guard Shoni Schimmel.  She finished the game with ten points and 11 rebounds.

“The first four minutes I thought offensively we just rushed. We never got the ball reversed. We were just trying so hard to make things happen. Then we finally slowed down, we worked the ball around,” coach Jeff Walz said.

Junior guard Jude Schimmel also contributed to the burst, scoring nine points in the first half, ending the game with 14 points on 6 of 9 shooting, and adding four assists and three steals.

“Jude is our spark coming off the bench. I think everybody on our team knows that. At the beginning we were kind of a little flustered,” Hammond said. “We were a little too excited to get out there and play. Jude came in and set the tone on defense. I think that’s what started our run.”

After leading 40-21 at halftime, Louisville extended their lead to 63-30 when Tia Gibbs connected on a three with eights minutes into the second half.

Louisville shot 71 percent from the field in the second half.

After missing the run to the National Championship game last season due to injury, Gibbs and Asia Taylor returned to the NCAA tournament.

Gibbs had seven points, four rebounds, and three steals.

Taylor finished with 13 points, seven rebounds, and four assists.

Fellow senior Antonita Slaughter connected on all three of her three point attempts, finishing with 11 points.

Stacey Barr, the Western Athletic Conference’s Player of the Year was held to four points on 1 of 7 shooting.  Barr averaged 17.9 points per game.

Third seeded Louisville plays the six seed Iowa on Tuesday night.

“We’re looking forward to it. We’re excited to play every game. Regardless of who we get, we’re going to be prepared mentally and physically,” Shoni Schimmel said. “Today’s game, we got it under our belt. We got the flow of everything. We’re ready to continue and keep playing.”

Photo by Austin Lassell

Louisville defeats Temple 60-50

After suffering just their second loss of the season Sunday against UConn, fourth ranked Louisville (24-2) defeated Temple 60-50 on Wednesday night at the KFC YUM! Center.

Shoni Schimmel led Cardinal scorers with 21 points and added six rebounds.

Louisville stretched the lead to 13 early in the second half, but Temple remained close due to the Cardinals shooting 12 of 26 from the free throw line.

“I’ve never seen Asia Taylor going 2 for 8 from the free throw line before. Shoni goes 6 for 10, its focus and concentration, so it’s an area we are going to have to continue to get back in,” Walz said.

Despite struggling from the line, Taylor finished with her fourth double-double of the season with 14 points and 12 rebounds.

Antonita Slaughter shot 3 of 5 from three, finishing with 12 points.

“Coming out and hitting my first one gave me a lot of confidence. Knowing that my teammates have confidence in me, when I make that first one the hole gets a lot bigger. So, I just knocked them down, that’s what I do,” Slaughter said.

Sara Hammond added seven points and nine rebounds.

Even though Louisville struggled offensively, the defense held Temple to 37.9 percent from the field while the Owls committed 17 turnovers.

“Defense definitely gets us going on offense so that’s our main focus- rebounding and defending. Coach Walz always tells us go out there defend and rebound and the offense is going to come to us,” Schimmel said. “It’s just something to learn from and I think we picked it up better in the second half. We defended a lot better than we did and it helped us get better offense.”

Bria Smith was held out of her third consecutive game because of knee trouble, but looks to return Sunday when Louisville plays at Memphis.

Photo by Austin Lassell

Women’s basketball falls to top ranked UConn 81-64

By Sam Draut


Geno Auriema and UConn have had Louisville’s number.  The trend continued Sunday in Storrs, Connecticut when the top ranked Huskies defeated the fourth ranked Cardinals 81-64.

UConn forward Breanna Stewart scored 24 points and added ten rebounds to help the Huskies cruise to their 31st consecutive victory.

“She’s a special player. I told our players there is no question that she is the best player in the country in my opinion. What she does is when you have breakdowns, she makes you pay for them,” U of L head coach Jeff Walz said.

Louisville (23-2), stayed competitive through the first twenty minutes, trailing 44-33 at halftime.

Tia Gibbs connected with a three pointer at the 15:36 mark in the second half, trimming the Huskie lead to 47-40, but Stewart responded with a three pointer and a layup of her own to spark a 16-5 run that put the game out of reach.

“She can make big shots in big moments that other players can’t make,” Auriema said.

Asia Taylor finished with 18 points and eight rebounds while Sara Hammond scored 11 points and pulled down six rebounds.

Shoni Schimmel struggled to find a rhythm throughout the game as UConn denied her the ball a majority of the game.  Schimmel was 4 of 15 from the field and finished with nine points and six rebounds.

Collectively, Louisville couldn’t get in sync offensively, shooting just 29.4 percent in the second half.

“You have to play a perfect game. It’s an absolute battle. You’ve got to have 40 minutes of mentally tough basketball,” Walz said.

All five of UConn’s starters scored in double digits.

“Anybody can score. So they are a hard team to guard when they do what they do best, which is score,” Schimmel said.

Louisville starting point guard Bria Smith missed her second consecutive game due to tendinitis in her knees.

The Cardinals will face the Huskies again at the KFC YUM! Center on March 9.  Connecticut has won the past 14 of 15 meetings against Louisville.

“I think we are going to learn a lot from each time we play them. Like tonight, we did a lot of good things, but there are some things we need to learn from,” Schimmel said.  “For us, we can learn from each game which is only going to help us.”

Louisville’s next game is against Temple on Wednesday at the KFC YUM! Center.


Photo by Austin Lassell

Womens basketball defeats Memphis

By Sam Draut

Through the first 12 minutes against Memphis, the fifth-ranked University of Louisville Women’s basketball team was locked in a 15-15 tie.  Asia Taylor and Sara Hammond were the only Cardinal scorers to that point.  U of L was in desperate need of a spark.  Shoni Schimmel single-handedy ignited the Cardinal offense and Louisville, 20-1, cruised to an 88-61 victory.

Schimmel scored 26 points in the final 7:52 of the first half, hitting eight three-pointers to push Louisville to a comfortable 47-25 halftime lead.

“When she gets open looks in rhythm, within in the offense, Shoni can shoot the ball very well,” U of L head coach Jeff Walz said.

Schimmel missed her first four shots and was taken out at the 11:41 mark, frustrated, she refocused.

“I sat down on the bench I just evaluated the whole situation and told myself `I’m better than that,’” Schimmel said.

Schimmel hit her ninth three-pointer in the second half, which gave her the U of L record for made three-pointers in a game.

“Her teammates did a fantastic job of getting her the ball,” Walz said. “It was just very unselfish basketball.”

Schimmel finished the game with 29 points, her seventh game this season with 20 points or more.

After starting 4 of 16 from the field through the first 12 minutes, U of L was 16 of 19 from the field over the next 14 minutes, based in large part from Schimmel’s performance.

“We show glimpses of being a pretty darn good basketball team. Then we show glimpses of being just a good team. So we have to continue to watch some film and continue to watch some things and hopefully get more consistent over a 40 minute period,” Walz said.

Emmonnie Henderson scored 14 points.  It was the freshman forward’s second consecutive game with 14 points.

“If you could take where we are at right now she is probably the most improved player on the team. Obviously you can see she’s an offensive threat, every time you get it in the paint you know she’s going to score, we have confidence in her,” Hammond said.

Hammond contributed with 13 points and eight rebounds.  Asia Taylor added 12 points and five rebounds.

After missing the past five games with a sprained ankle, Jude Schimmel returned to action, scoring five points and dishing out four assists in 16 minutes of play.

U of L goes to Rutgers on Jan. 28, looking to extend their winning streak to 14 games.


Photo by Austin Lassell

Women’s basketball improves to 16-1

By Sam Draut

The fifth-ranked University of Louisville women’s basketball team defeated USF 62-54 at the Sun Dome in Tampa, Florida on Sunday.

The 16-1 Cardinals were led by senior guard Shoni Schimmel, who finished with 25 points and seven rebounds, 17 of her points came in the second half.

Sara Hammond added 14 points and five rebounds, while Bria Smith contributed with 10 points, four rebounds and four steals.

In her second game back, Antonita Slaughter played 20 minutes and pulled down five rebounds.

U of L sits tied for second with Rutgers in the American Athletic Conference at 4-0.  Connecticut is atop the conference with a 5-0 record.

Louisville looks to extend its winning streak to 10 games on Wednesday when it takes on Central Florida at the KFC YUM! Center.

By Austin Lassell

Lady Cardinals defeat Wright State

By Sam Draut

A day after learning senior forward Antonita Slaughter would miss the rest of the season, the Cardinals put together one of their most complete performances of year.

“I think it was the best all-around game we played this year, no question about it. We haven’t made free throws. It was a really good basketball game and we needed this game. I was not expecting this, not at all. I think our kids needed it,” U of L head coach Jeff Walz said.

The number seven University of Louisville women’s basketball defeated Wright State 99-40 on Saturday night at the KFC YUM! Center.

Shoni Schimmel led the Cardinals with 17 points, six rebounds, and three assists.  The senior guard hit four three point field goals in the first half and also entered the top five in career assists at U of L.

Front-court starters Sara Hammond and Asia Taylor each finished with 12 points and combined for 10 rebounds.

Shawnta Dyer provided a boost off the bench for the front-court, finishing with 15 points and seven rebounds.

“Shawnta is doing a very nice job. It is about her getting back in to the flow of things. Her conditioning is going to be a big part of it. I saw tonight she is getting in better shape, which is why you are starting to see the productivity in what she was doing,” Walz said. “She was playing really well last year, up until she tore her ACL. If we can get her back to full strength it is going to give us another option in the post.”

Cortnee Walton added nine points and a game high 12 rebounds.

Dyer and Walton played 22 minutes each, combining for 10 of 13 from the field, the two could see extended time with the loss of Slaughter.

“They did a lot of good things. We’ve been trying to get them the ball and get them going so when we play bigger games they will be ready. We’re trying to give them good quality minutes and it’s going to help us in the end,” Shoni Schimmel said. “They rebounded and scored tonight it was a big emphasis on them because they didn’t have much down low. They played well tonight.”

Defensively, the Cardinals locked in early.  Wright State shot just 18.6 percent from the field in the first half and was limited to 17 points.

“We defended. I thought we did a really nice job of defending people without fouling. We’re statistically one of the poorest fouling teams,” Walz said.

U of L took a 55-17 lead into halftime, but remained focused in the second half as Wright State finished shooting 23 percent from the field and 22 turnovers.

For the second consecutive game, U of L finished with more 20 assists.  Junior guard Jude Schimmel had nine of the team’s 23 assists.

“I thought we made the extra pass. And then we didn’t over pass, which is something that happens when you’re trying to tell kids to get the ball reversed and don’t shoot it on the first shot. At times you can make too many passes. But I thought today we took the right shot at the right time,” Walz said.

U of L will face Austin Peay Saturday Dec. 14 at the KFC YUM! Center.

Photo by Austin Lassell

Louisville defeats Missouri State, senior’s career ends

By Sam Draut

Last Tuesday night, senior forward Antonita Slaughter collapsed on the bench during the first few minutes of a 91-49 victory over Missouri State at the KFC YUM! Center.

Slaughter was suffered what appeared to be a seizure like episode and was carted off by paramedics to Jewish Hospital where she underwent tests to diagnose the problem.

Doctors determined it was cardiac incident caused by a blood clot in her lung.

It was announced Friday that Slaughter would miss the remainder of the season and would take blood thinner medication for seven to eight months.

“We are very grateful to the arena staff, the medical staff and all the doctors who have been working diligently to figure out what happened Tuesday night. Our number one concern is to make sure Antonita is taken care of,” U of L head coach Jeff Walz said. “Her teammates have been very concerned for her and are saddened to know that Antonita will no longer be able to finish out the season with them on the court. As a team we will be there for Nita and make sure she knows we are there for her at all times.”

In nine games this season, Slaughter averaged 9.3 points per game and 4.6 rebounds per game.  She had the highest three-point field goal percentage on the team with 37.1 percent.

Last season, she was the third leading scorer, averaging 10.1 points per game.

Now, Slaughter will continue to support her teammates, she attended the 99-40 win over Wright State on Saturday night.

“It is not easy for her right now but I have really been impressed with how she has handled all of it. You go from being in college playing ball and going to class and you think everything is great; to being in the hospital having 100 different tests run on you,” Walz said. “She has really been good, and I think that is what has helped our team. She is at the game, she is smiling and cheering and encouraging everyone. She still has some more tests in front of her. We are still trying to figure out what is going on with her heart.”

“Well, it is definitely a sad thing that happened. We’re all going to miss her of course, but we all know the season goes on. She is there at practice and everything being her normal self. It is good to have her around. Our goal is still to go to Nashville no matter what. These are games where we have to come out and just dominate from the tip,” Asia Taylor said.






Photo by Austin Lassell

Louisville women’s basketball falls to UK

By Sam Draut

The number four University of Louisville women’s basketball team fell to number seven Kentucky 69-64 Sunday afternoon at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington.

Shoni Schimmel led U of L with 17 points and seven rebounds while junior Sara Hammond finished with 12 points and seven rebounds. Forward Asia Taylor contributed with ten points and six rebounds.

The Cardinals jumped out to a 21-7 lead through the first nine minutes in the first half and took a 36-27 lead into halftime.

“I thought we did a great job in the first half. We controlled the boards. We controlled the tempo of the game. We played it exactly how we wanted it to be played. I was really proud of them,” U of L head coach Jeff Walz said.

It was a tale of two halves for the 7-1 Cardinals, as they committed 10 turnovers and were outrebounded 26-21 in the second half.  The 8-0 Wildcats outscored U of L 42-28 in the second half.

“We come out in the second half and missed a lot of point-blank shots you normally don’t miss. Then, we started to give up offensive rebounds because we started to get frustrated,” Walz said.

U of L opened the second half missing their first nine shots and shot just 27.8 percent from the field in the second half.

Kentucky’s leading scorer DeNesha Stallworth had 15 of her 16 points in the second half and also tied with Samarie Walker with a game high eight rebounds.

“She did a much better job in the second half of attacking the glass. She got the opportunities close by,” Walz said.  “She’s a big time player. There’s no question about it. But I think her willingness to go to the offensive glass in the second half is what got them going.”

With 9:42 left in the second half, Bernisha Pinkett connected with her second three in a 75 second span to give Kentucky a six point lead, their largest of the game to that point.

“This was not my first year being in a big game.  I knew when I got in, whatever he needed me to do I had to be ready; whether it was getting a stop on defense, getting a rebound, or making a three,” Pinkett said. “It so happened to be me being down and ready for the kick out for the three. I was just saying when I get this ball, put your elbow in, knock it down and get back on defense.”

Hammond’s two made free throws at the 6:28 mark tied the game at 55-55 and the game remained a one or two possession game until Kentucky guard Jennifer O’Neill’s jumper with 41 seconds left gave the Wildcats a six point lead.

Stallworth closed the game out with two made free throws, giving Kentucky its third straight victory in the rivalry.

“We wanted to win this game, we were prepared and we worked hard to win this game and we just came up short. We learned a lot from this game and we’re going to move forward,” Taylor said.

Louisville looks to bounce back Tuesday night against Missouri State at the KFC YUM! Center.